It is only yesterday that I realised during one of the weekly follow ups with my students, that as they enter week 4 of their millet journey with me, 80 per cent of their food has already been ‘milletified’. Their families have started loving the change, and the millets are getting adjusted to their ever-evolving palates. The good news is, rolling wheat chapatis is now boring and a daunting task for them. They are enjoying the variety in their menu and are always on the lookout for newer recipes with millets.
Sometimes, we come up with ideas in our close-knit WhatsApp group, and then share our own ways to improvise it. It’s a learning that never stops. The good thing is, all my students are happier. The god-sent grains are being accepted well, and they now have a shelf of their own. We call it ‘The Millet Corner’ of every house, and it is a must-have space if you are willing to start your millet journey.
And it is just not the recipes; we also explore how each millet is different from the other in texture, taste, mass and the way it has to be cooked. It is certainly not one formula that fits all kinds of cooking, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be rocket science; just simple science. You need to embrace these techniques, as you move step-by-step with me. It’s my promise to you, you will receive more love and healing than you will ever give to these grains. Millets are for everyone, and they are packed with oodles of love for which your body longs.
Every year, I do a lot of millet cooking during the Navaratris. And this time, too, I have revamped the entire menu for the fasts. While many believe in celebrating with potatoes, sabudana (tapioca), market-bought flours of buckwheat and chestnut, I have worked hard to bring in a menu that’s potato-free, super exotic, yummy and absolutely meant for those who will observe fasts this time.
I will be doing the live cooking of this menu on October 16-17, and you can reach out to my Instagram profile just in case you wish to see the menu and join the online session.
But before that, have a look at one quick kitchen experiment I did for my lunch yesterday. I had a cup full of soaked sorghum millet and I was meaning to make flour for some bakes with my sourdough discard. But because I harvested a good amount of fresh methi leaves on my terrace garden, I couldn’t resist trying this jowar methi ki sabzi for my lunch. Clubbed with foxtail millet chapatis, and we had another new dish on our millet menu.
Read more for the step-by-step recipe and the amazing health benefits of sorghum millet.
Jowar methi ki sabzi
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (grated)
- 1-inch ginger (grated)
- 1 green chili (finely chopped)
- 2 dried red chilies
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder (or grated raw turmeric)
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup boiled sorghum millet
- 150 gm fresh methi leaves (washed and chopped)
- Thoroughly wash and soak sorghum millet for 8-10 hours. Pressure-cook them for 2-3 whistles on medium-low flame. Make sure you add adequate water, salt and turmeric before pressure-cooking.
- In a deep pan (I used an iron wok), heat mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, heeng, grated ginger, garlic and raw turmeric. Also add dried red chilies and chopped green chilies.
- As the spices crackle, add freshly-chopped methi leaves. Continue to cook with regular stirring till the leaves are dry and crispy.
- Add chopped tomatoes and continue to cook till they are are a bit mushy and tender.
- Now add salt, coriander powder and mix it all nicely.
- Drain excess water from the boiled sorghum and add to the tomato methi mixture. Mix well, cover it, and allow it to cook for an additional 5-8 minutes on low flame.
- Let the excess moisture evaporate. Serve this sabzi when really hot. If you wish to, you can even sprinkle bit of dry mango powder (amchoor) or garam masala on top. Or just a slight drizzle of lemon juice to make it interesting.
- You can club it with regular wheat chapatis. Since I am off wheat, I enjoyed them with soft foxtail millet chapatis, something that my participants love to make on an everyday basis.
Health benefits of sorghum millet
Sorghum millet (jowar) is a powerhouse of essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It is loaded with good amounts of calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorous, potassium and cell-building B vitamins. The presence of these essential nutrients help keep the body healthy and keep all the ailments at bay.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)
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